A reader sent us a comment from another blog by someone who was polled a couple of weeks back. The questions are very interesting, especially once you realise that it’s clearly being done for National and the Right in Auckland (one of the questions gives it away). Have a read, then I’ll tell you why I reckon the Nats are going to fund the City Rail Link in the Budget.
Asked me how I rated on a 1-5 scale John Key, David Shearer, Len Brown, Maurice Williamson…
Did I think NZ was headed in right or wrong direction.
Asked who I’d vote for today if a national election was held, and who I voted for last time.
Asked if I thought housing affordability was a major, moderate or non-issue.
Asked if housing affordability was due to land shortage, high compliancing/legal costs, or property developers profiteering…
Asked if Auck Council or NZ Govt were able to improve housing affordability. (I said 50/50).
Asked about expanding metropolitan limit, and increasing housing density in local centres.
Asked whether I thought CRL was very important, somewhat important, nice to have but not at expense of roading projects, or not needed at all.
Asked whether Puhoi-Welsford motorway extension was very important, somewhat important, nice to have but not at expense of rail projects or not needed at all
Asked about how transport improvements (of whatever type) should be funded, vis local fuel tax, local rates, national fuel tax or central govt taxes.
Asked how above funds, once raised should be split rail vs roads. (I went for 70% rail-30% roads- I haven’t read about whats required so I pulled that from my ass
Asked if knowing a council candidate was on a Citizens & Ratepayers (or whatever they’ve changed C&R to stand for now?) ticket would make me more or less likely to vote for them. No other council tickets were mentioned or asked about.
There may have been a few more questions on the same subjects, but it was pretty narrowly focused on getting an aucklander’s view on the major auckland issues, and how to pay for them, and does Maurice Williamson have a show…
So, questions about both national and local political figures and about policy decisions by both local and central government. The giveaway is only being asked about the C&R brand. Clearly, this was a poll commissioned by National/C&R – probably Curia.
One object seems to be to get data on whether Williamson has a shot at a mayoral run (hey, talk of that dried up pretty suddenly, didn’t it? Probably about the time these polling numbers came in)
The questions about housing affordability are interesting (only rightwing ‘answers’ offered – this is typical of Farrar’s accidental push-polling). It shows that National feels it needs to do something in this area and is searching for an option that would be politically saleable, even if ineffective in practice. English has already signalled that we’ll be seeing something along those lines (sounds good, does nothing) in the Budget.
But it’s the transport ones that catch my eye. Why would National want to know about views on the City Rail Link vs the Holiday Highway? They wouldn’t if their position is fixed. If they’re building the holiday highway come hell or high water and they’re dead set against the CRL, they don’t need to waste money asking polling questions about them.
So, what if National’s position isn’t fixed? What if they’re considering building the CRL and they’re considering dropping the Holiday Highway to pay for it? Then, they would want an idea of how receptive the public would be to such a move.
And we know basically what the numbers will have told them, because the question has been asked in public polls: Aucklanders think the CRL is more important than the Holiday Highway.
Clearly, the party that can get the CRL built has a lot of votes to gain, both in 2014 and at the local body elections.
Here, then, is my call: in the Budget, National will announce it is providing part funding for the CRL. Puhoi to Wellsford may be delayed to free up the cash or the money might come from the so-called ‘Future Investment Fund’ (ie. the asset sales revenue) to really fuck with the Left.
That will be a bold move that will attempt to wrong-foot the Left by adopting one of its own positions, in stark contrast to National’s pattern to date of focusing on fringe issues that only the business elite back. Conflating asset sales with getting the CRL would make things really tricky for the Left to finesse.
So, will National have the vision and cunning for that. Or are they too ideologically set against rail?